The Caribbean island of Dominica has seen “widespread devastation” following the impact of Hurricane Maria, according to prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
The storm is currently moving roughly along the same track as Hurricane Irma, the hurricane that devastated parts of the Caribbean earlier this month.
It currently has maximum sustained winds of 155mph, though it slowed to a category four hurricane after hitting Dominica.
However, there are fears it could increase in intensity again as it moves towards Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to forecasters.
Skerrit added: “It is too early to speak of the condition of the air and seaports, but I suspect both will be inoperable for a few days.”
He continued “So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace.
“My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”
Appealing for help, particularly helicopters, he said the roofs had been blown off many houses on the island, including his official residence.
Describing the damage as “mind boggling”, he said the focus would be on rescuing those trapped in rubble and securing medical assistance for the injured.
As Hurricane Maria approaches, the nearby island of Martinique has declared a maximum-level alert.
Guadeloupe, another speaking French island, has also ordered evacuations.
The US territory of Puerto Rico expects Maria to make landfall as at least a category three storm later on Tuesday.
It escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma and has been an important hub for getting relief to islands more badly affected.
Both the British and US Virgin Islands are also preparing for impact, while also still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma.
Image courtesy United States National Hurricane Centre
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